England To Play Nigeria And Costa Rica Ahead Of World Cup

Sunday, 14 Jan, 2018

Manager Gareth Southgate is confident that the fixtures will help prepare England for their World Cup opener as well as their second group match against Panama on Jun 24. "It's nice when we have an opportunity to take the team on the road".

England's coach, Gareth Southgate on his part stated that England's warm-up games against Nigeria and Costa Rica would be the flawless preparation for the World Cup.

Costa Rica have been chosen to replicate the test that Gareth Southgate's side will face when they confront Panama in Russian Federation, and the match will be played on Thursday, June 7.

Nigeria are in Group D with Croatia, Iceland and Argentina while England have been drawn alongside Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

"We want to expose the team to different styles and different experiences".

England has friendlies in March at Wembley against two teams that failed to qualify for the World Cup: the Netherlands and Italy. We had been doing a lot of work in the background, even going back to a year ago. "We have other matches and programmes for the team, and we will soon roll out the entire plan for matches, camping sites and training camps". "We will be able to test our readiness for the World Cup when we meet the Three Lions at Wembley", he added.

Akinwunmi added that the NFF chose to be strategic in its choice of opponents for the Super Eagles leading to the World Cup.